“What’s your name again? How do you pronounce it?” The teacher looked down at her class roll and repeated the question.

“My name is Rudri.” I responded. The stares of my classmates felt like tiny laser beams that made me feel like I glowed in the dark.

“Ru-dar-y”? Is that how you say it?” She asked again providing extra emphasis on the syllables.

“Um,no. It is pronounced Roo-dri.” I answered, hoping she’d move on to the next student.

“Ok. I know I will get it before the end of the year is up.” She giggled as she called out the name Jennifer.

This scenario occurred for most of my childhood and repeated as an adult. I understand that my name is not typical.

Read the rest of this essay on The First Day.

Image: India-Colours of India by McKay Savage via Flickr.